Research on Corona: Volkswagen Stiftung funds two projects involving BIGSSS members › view all


Franziska Deutsch (et al.) and Patrick Sachweh/Till Hilmar successful in Volkswagen Stiftung's Small Grants Initiative "Corona Crisis and Beyond"


Not least due to the latest viral mutations, the COVID pandemic is spreading at a rapid pace, dominating all areas of public and private life worldwide, challenging basic, clinical and translational viral research. This development has global and not fully foreseeable long-term consequences, raising new research questions and possibly even leading to new research fields.

Against this background, the Volkswagen Foundation has decided to fund research projects from all disciplines whose findings not only contribute directly to overcoming the crisis, but can also provide impetus for tackling major societal challenges. The foundation is funding cross-disciplinary research with a total of 11.7 million euros. 102 projects from a wide range of disciplines have been approved to each receive up to 120,000 euros. The projects range from new procedures for rapid tests to linguistic investigations of conspiracy theories.

We are extremely pleased that two project applications coming from the immediate BIGSSS environment have been deemed eligible for funding.


"Values in Crisis – a Crisis of Values? Moral Values and Social Orientations under the Imprint of the Corona Pandemic"

The project team including BIGSSS' Academic Coordinator Franziska Deutsch engages in a prospective panel study, started by comparing attitudes of 2,000 respondents each in Great Britain and Germany. The two countries were chosen because they are comparable in terms of economic parameters, but differ greatly in the way they deal with the pandemic and its consequences.

Moral values and social orientation are considered relatively stable constructs that change only slowly. Values and social orientations are of great importance for how individuals feel about democracy or populism, for example. Othe project leaders are Professor Jan Delhey, Magdeburg, and Senior Lecturer Jan Eichhorn, Edinburgh/d|part. Also involved are Professor Christian Welzel, Lüneburg as well as BIGSSS faculty members Ulrich Kühnen and Klaus Boehnke, Jacobs University.


"Corona Crisis Narratives - Framing Economic Imaginaries post-2020 (CoroNarrate)"

BIGSSS Dean Patrick Sachweh and post-doctoral researcher Till Hilmar are funded for an empirical study on the Corona Crisis. The project "Corona Crisis Narratives - Framing Economic Imaginaries post-2020 (CoroNarrate)" uses computational social science methods to interrogate how key narratives about the causes and consequences of the economic crisis resulting from the Corona pandemic are negotiated in the German and Italian public debate. Particularly, it seeks to determine how these societies are embracing opportunities for designing a sustainable and fair economic order. The project develops tools that lay bare the underlying moral logic behind economic discourse and thus offers a critical contribution to understanding policy choices in the 21st century.


Credits: Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash